Happy Employees - How to keep top talent happy

How to Keep Your Top Talent Happy

To build an organization with people of great talent, start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate, motivate, and reward them well.

“Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.” Lee Iacocca

Let’s say you’ve done everything right and you have assembled the ultimate corporate “A-Team.”  The best talent you can put together. Take a moment and think about your top level employees in the company. They do a lot of work, they have a ton of responsibilities, and chances are you’re highly invested in them. Now, think about what it would if look like if they were gone tomorrow? Pretty scary, huh?

How to keep Top Talent

Keeping your top talent happy and engaged, enthusiastic, and committed to long-term employment in your organization is key. It’s crucial to your success as an organization and especially impactful on your bottom line.

As you know, there are a number of reasons why people leave:

  • There may be negative interactions between employees and management;
  • The employees don’t feel that there’s potential for upward advancement;
  • They feel a total lack of recognition and appreciation for their efforts;
  • There may be an overall downbeat ambiance within the organization.

In fact, a recent Gallup poll revealed that a whopping 71% of employees aren’t engaged in their job. Imagine if you were able to increase your employee’s level of connection and commitment to your organization by just 10%. Do you think that would make a difference to your bottom line? The answer – is a resounding YES!

The Benefits of Happy Talent

Take a moment, look around and see if you can honestly determine who’s actively engaged and who is just hanging on by a thread. If you’ve ever been surprised by an abrupt employee departure, you know that it’s not always easy to spot what’s going on inside your employees’ heads. Creating a positive work environment will result in:

  • Higher levels of productivity;
  • Increased sales;
  • Better employee retention rates;
  • Stronger customer loyalty; and, best of all, a
  • Happier work environment.

When you have assembled a great team, it’s important to keep the “honeymoon” going. Remember all the reasons why you hired each one of your employees and make sure to acknowledge their contributions to the company.

Too often, managers grow complacent in their treatment of employees that have been around awhile. When this is done, it opens the door for your brightest and best talent to find another organization that will appreciate the talents and skills and abilities that they bring with them.

Get to Know Your Talent

If it’s been a while since you have spent quality time with your long-term employees, look for ways that you can put them on your schedule.

You may want to invite your staff members to lunch or just sit down with them for a couple minutes to find out how everything is going in their world. Make sure to share with them what you appreciate about their contributions. Remember, what gets recognized gets repeated, so be specific in your acknowledgment of their efforts.

When you engage your employees today, they won’t become someone else’s top talent tomorrow.

PS – If you’re out of practice, don’t sweat it. Just let your employees know that you are going to make a more concentrated effort to keep in touch with them. A little time goes a long way.


  • Lisa Ryan

    Lisa Ryan is the Chief Appreciation Strategist with Grategy, a company founded on the principles of leveraging the power of gratitude in business and in life. Utilizing 20+ years of sales, marketing, and training experience, As an employee engagement keynote speaker, Lisa helps companies keep their best customers and top talent from becoming someone else's. She does this by training individuals, teams and organizations the importance of appreciation in creating stronger relationships, and becoming healthier, happier and having a lot more fun in life. Lisa is the author of six books, including: "The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude," "Express Gratitude, Experience Good: A Daily Gratitude Journal," "From Afraid to Speak to Paid to Speak: How Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety Boosts Your Confidence and Career," and "With Excellence." She is featured in two movies: the award-winning "The Keeper of the Keys" with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), John Gray (Men are From Mars/Women are From Venus), and Marci Shimoff (Happy for No Reason and "The Gratitude Experiment" with Bob Proctor, Dr. John DeMartini and Mary Morrissey.